Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three for the Grill

Barbecue season is in full swing, and despite the appearance of Halloween candy at the grocery store, everyone I know will be grilling at least until the snow falls. Perhaps while the snow falls.

And on those days when the snow is too deep to find the grill, there's always a grill pan, right? Or and indoor smoker. Or braised beef in the slow cooker, slathered with home made barbecue sauce.

Yup, barbecue isn't just summer food. In fact, barbecuing in the fall can be even better than standing in front of a hot grill on a 90-degree day.

And barbecue flavors never go out of season. Think about a lovely winter meatloaf, brushed with a smoky barbecue sauce. Or a roast pork sandwich with a generous slather of sauce.

Have you ever had a warm ham sandwich with barbecue sauce? Yep, barbecue is forever. There is no season.

To help you get your grill on all year long, here are three barbecue-centric books you might want to add to your bookshelves. AND! I'm giving away ALL THREE!

By Cheryl and Bill Jamison

If all your grilled and barbecued food tastes the same because you tend to buy the same bottled sauce and you use it for everything, this book will make you seem like a rockstar. Not only will you have over 200 sauce recipes to choose from, but you'll be able to brag that you made your own sauce.

And it's a great way to learn about sauces from different regions of the US and different countries. without bothering with all that pesky travel.

It's not all sauces, though. There are rubs, mops, marinades, spritzes, salsas, butters, pastes, and more.

The recipes in this book are fairly easy when it comes to technique, so it would be great for newer cooks who want to pump up the flavor of their food. But since there are such a huuuuge number of recipes, it's also great for more accomplished cooks who want to get a little more adventurous with their flavors.

One thing I particularly liked was that the index, besides having normal ways of looking things up, also listed recipes based on what they would pair well with. So, sauces for fruit or sauces for pork, sauces for seafood, etc.

By Cheryl and Bill Jamison

This book starts with a short primer about grilling in general, then launches right into recipes for everything from burgers to pizza to steak, poultry and fish. Oh, and vegetables, too.

If you've got a grill and you want to do more than the basics, there are plenty of recipes here to convince you to put down the hot dogs. The vast majority of the recipes use easy-to-find ingredients. I think the least likely to be at your local grocer is the elk - and that was just one recipe.

While the point of the book is outdoor grilling (shhhhh, don't tell anyone), a lot of these recipes - maybe even the majority - can be adapted for using a grill pan or cast iron frying pan indoors.

By Cheryl and Bill Jamison

While the first two books are for just about anyone, Smoke and Spice features recipes for smoking, which is a little more complicated. And, you need some kind of a smoker.

Or maybe not. There are a whopping 450 recipes in this book, and while the majority are recipes that require a smoker, there are also sauces, sides, and desserts and other recipes that don't require a smoker at all.

Speaking of smokers, the book describes all the different types of smokers, from high-end smokers, to using a barbecue grill as a smoker, to using a stovetop smoker. Yup, stovetop.

It's kind of hard to describe the recipes in this book, because there are so many ... and they're so varied. Sure, there's brisket and ribs and smoked fish. But there are biscuits and cornbread, too. Mushroom calzones. Clam dip. Ravioli. Meatloaf.

Just ... so much. It's hard to imagine that anyone could page through this book and not find something they'd want to make.

To give you an idea of how these authors write, here's a recipe:

Brown Sugar-Anise Barbecue Sauce
From The Barbecue Lovers Big Book of BBQ Sauces by Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Used with permission; all rights reserved

Mildly sweet and redolent of licorice-like ground anise, this sauce seems both familiar and mysterious at the same time. It’s terrific on barbequed beef short ribs or even a grilled burger – beef or bison.
Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground anise
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse salt
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it thickens and reduces by about one-third, 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve the sauce warm on or alongside the meat. It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 2 week, but reheat it before serving.

The books were provided at no cost to me by the publisher for the purpose of review and they will ship all three books to the winner of the giveaway.
Three great grilling books


  1. Need this for help with my newly acquired smoker!!!!

  2. The hubs and I have been trying to up our smoker game! Would <3 to win =)


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